The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M baseball travels to South Carolina for another top-10 SEC matchup

Photo by By Lawrence Smelser

Boomer White is second in the nation with a .441 batting average.

Texas A&M will face its second consecutive top-10 opponent this weekend when it travels to South Carolina to take on the No. 9 Gamecocks.
The No. 2 Aggies are coming off a series win over No. 5 Vanderbilt, which saw the Aggies win a 1-0 pitcher’s duel on Thursday night and then take Saturday’s rubber match courtesy of a Kyle Simonds complete game no-hitter.
Still, the Aggies are looking ahead to the Gamecocks rather than resting on their past success.
“The message the players get from the coaches is, ‘It’s all about the next game,'” Childress said after Saturday’s game. “Keep your head down and your blinders on. If you look past the schedule you’ve got, it can take your breath away. You’ve got to be able to keep your head down and focused on what you have, and that’s today.”
A&M comes into the series winners of 15 of its last 18 games, including a 5-1 record in road games. Meanwhile, the Gamecocks enter the weekend coming off a series loss at Kentucky. The Gamecocks remain tied with Florida at the top of the SEC standings at 16-7, though, while the Aggies are a half-game back at 16-8.
“They’re tough, they’re a real good team,” A&M catcher Michael Barash said. “They’re going to pitch the ball, they’re going to play good defense and they’re going to have a great offense. We need to just go in and play our game because we know that if we play our game, the scoreboard will take care of itself.”
The Aggies will send sophomore righty Brigham Hill to the mound Friday night, Turner Larkins on Saturday and then Simonds for the series finale on Sunday.
As a staff, A&M has recorded an SEC-leading eight shutouts and a 3.07 ERA, good for third in the conference. South Carolina is right behind the Aggies with a 3.17 ERA.
Offensively, the A&M lineup boasts seven starters hitting above .300 and as a team the Aggies are first in the SEC in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. In addition, the 45 home runs they have hit as a team are tied with Arkansas and Ole Miss for tops in the conference.
So while the Gamecocks are expected to pose a tough challenge, the Aggies have had success against highly ranked teams before and will try to do the same against South Carolina.
“We’re just going to try to carry that momentum [from Vanderbilt] over,” A&M shortstop Austin Homan said. “Anytime you go into a series you’re looking to win three. No matter who it is, you don’t want to lose, you want to win every game.”
Friday night’s game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and can be seen via the WatchESPN app. Saturday and Sunday’s contest will begin at 6:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively, and each will be nationally televised on the SEC Network.
“They’re going to be good, it will be a good test,” Barash said. “It will be a good environment to play in and it will be a lot of fun.”

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